Paul and his "aunt" were heading towards school in silence for the time being. After their little conversation from a while ago, they decided to keep quiet.
Somehow, the atmosphere became kind of tense and awkward because of that series of questions that she made.
Paul still couldn't fully understand her implications and reactions, also as her concern about the fixation he had with his absent father.
She never thought that Paul would have such memories from one of his parents since it was a long while ago when they left him behind for their own reasons.
Paul couldn't imagine how much things were behind their absence, nor anyone of Refuge Amun. However, one thing they knew: Paul's parents loved him a lot, and it made that situation of abandonment get even more strange.
Paul's aunt never went too far on that subject, though. No matter how many questions she had regarding his past, she wouldn't make a child face it right away.
'This boy surely will have plenty of time to think about it when he has grown up. And just time will tell if he will gather more memories about his real family. For now, I will let him get his ego fed by the teachers and spoil him, like every normal kid.'
She didn't know exactly why she wanted Paul to be happy. She wasn't even friends with his parents when they were still among their folk. However, the aunt was the first one offering help when a child was left in their care.
'Anyway, good reasons or not, it is still irresponsible to leave a kid behind. I can't think of any good reason for this. But those two involved themselves in a lot of hard situations. Maybe fight so many Dreads drove them crazy, after all.'
She hated Dreads but found the ones that fought them to be crazy people, regardless of having "Willpower" or not.
While thinking about those things, she nearly lost sight of Paul. The boy walked faster than her, despite having shorter legs. He himself was always aloof and hyperactive as if he had ADHD or something.
Just as she thought, he was walking happily and paying attention to something else. He was about to cross a street, but horses were passing by, dragging a carriage with them.
She needed to dash forward and hold the boy by his collar, pulling him away from the streets just in time to avoid any accident.
Since it was her fault, she didn't scold Paul. Nonetheless, she couldn't help but look at those guys riding the carriage with disgust.
'These idiots prefer to kill a child by trampling them instead of giving a simple warning. Is it difficult not to be dumb nowadays!?" She got mad at people who seemed to lack common sense.
When looking at the carriage, she could recognize it from somewhere.
'Ah! These are those guys who are visiting Amun too often. People say that they are sealing a deal with our leader, but I don't have any clue about it. As far as I know, they are only causing trouble. And this carriage made out of dark wood... it gives a strange vibe. I prefer to keep distant from them for the time being.'
She frowned slightly while looking at their carriage for a couple of seconds, then crossed the street with Paul, heading hastily to his school.
'However, something was different with them today. Before, they seemed to be, at least, respectable people. But today... Their expressions changed suddenly. I hope that the leader can deal with it.'
In some minutes, she could reach the school together with Paul. The boy was yet to absorb that he nearly got trampled. His aunt didn't say a thing about it, anyway, so he thought that everything was okay.
'But my heart is beating really fast. It gave me the feeling that I would die.'
After kissing him on the cheeks (something that got Paul very shy) his aunt gave him some light taps on his back and prompted the boy to enter the huge building of the school. By far, that was one of the most imponent structures of Amun.
"Hey, aunt." He turned to her with a complicated expression. "Did I just nearly died?"
The woman tilted her head for a while, laughing out loud afterward when she realized what the boy just asked her.
'This kid... how can he be so dumb and so intelligent at the same time!?'
She remained laughing until tears began to drop from her eyes.
"P-Paul, c'mon, are you ok? Didn't you noticed that you were nearly trampled over?"
"More or less." He lowered his head, shrugging his shoulders.
"Hey, stop shrugging your shoulders. You seem much more of a man when you let them wide like this." She adjusted his shoulders gently.
"Well, from what I just told you about the trampling and all, you have your response, right? Anyway, why do you ask?"
The boy had a grim expression. That sort of expression wasn't fit for a boy of his age.
"Nothing. I just got the feeling that death is nearer than I thought before." Paul's eyes told her that he was thinking about something much more complex than that. Maybe the conversation about his father got the better of him and he was still affected by that until now.
"We talk about it after school, ok? Hurry up, or else you will get late for your first class."
Paul nodded slowly, turning his back to her and entering the school.
The woman just shook her head, sighing.
'As I thought, so dumb, but so smart at the same time... What kind of children you made, huh?' She asked herself while thinking about Paul's father and mother. 'If only you could tell us what you two were up to do, then we should be able to forgive you for abandoning us in such a harsh time in the Wastelands... After all, what's the point of being that powerful man, the Lord of Flames, if you cannot even take care of your son and your folk?'
While wondering about it, she walked back to her home again.